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Baldock, Hertfordshire

Historical Description

Baldock, a small town and a parish in Herts. The town stands in a valley between two hills, on Icknield Street, adjacent to the Hitchin and Cambridge branch of the G.N.R., near the source of the river Rhea, 5 miles NE of Hitchin. It has a station on the railway, a head post and telegraph office, a bank, and two breweries. Malting and brewing are the chief occupations, barley being extensively grown in the neighbourhood. A great quantity of straw-plait is made here and in the adjacent villages, and there is a market for it on Fridays. Fairs are held yearly on 7 March, the last Thursday in May, 5 August, 2 October, 11 December. The name was anciently written Baudoc, and is supposed by some to have been taken from Baalbec in Syria, and applied by the Knights Templars. These military monks obtained a grant of the place, in the reign of Stephen, from Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke, and they built upon it a church, and obtained for it the rights of a market-town. The present parish church includes some portions of the Templars' church; is a spacious edifice, in Later English, with a large chancel and an ancient tower, and contains some monuments of the Templars, a finely-carved oak screen, a very curious font, and part of the ancient rood-loft. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St Albans; net yearly value, £210 with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of St Albans. There are also Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels, and meeting-houses for the Friends and Plymouth Brethren. There are some well-endowed almshouses and several useful charities. The principal street of the town is wide, and has many respectable houses. Area of the parish, 263 acres; population of the civil parish, 2301; of the ecclesiastical, 1918. The Knights Templars selected Baldock as a place of residence on account of its reputation for extreme salubrity, a reputation which it still enjoys.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHertfordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBaldock St. Mary 
HundredBroadwater 
Poor Law unionHitchin 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Baldock


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Baldock from the following:


Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hertfordshire is online.


Maps

Online maps of Baldock are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hertfordshire newspapers online:


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hertfordshire, 1572 and 1634. Edited by Walter C. Metcalfe, F.S.A. is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictNorth Hertfordshire
CountyHertfordshire
RegionEastern
CountryEngland
Postal districtSG7
Post TownBaldock